What You Need to Know About Oral Cancer Screening?
Did you know that oral cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer? Unfortunately, many must realize the importance of regular screenings for this disease. Oral cancer can be easily detected and treated if caught early, but without screening, it often goes unnoticed until it’s too late. This blog post explores why oral cancer screening is essential and what you must know to protect yourself from this deadly disease. So hold on, and let’s dive into everything you need about oral cancer screening!
What is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer is the most known type of cancer in the mouth. It’s caused by the abnormal growth of cells in the mouth. Oral cancer can occur anywhere on the tongue, gums, roof of the mouth (maxilla), lips, and palate (the top of the mouth).
The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 58,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer in 2018. The positive news is that oral cancer is a highly treatable disease if it’s caught early.
There are multiple ways to find out if you have oral cancer:
1. A dental checkup can include a check for signs of oral cancer, such as lumps or changes in your teeth.
2. If you’ve had head or neck surgery within the past two years, talk to your doctor about getting tested for oral cancer.
3. You can also get screened for oral cancer using a simple saliva test. This test looks for tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) proteins. Elevated levels of these proteins may indicate that you have developed Oral Cancer.
Types of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is the most known type of cancer in the mouth. It can occur on any part of the mouth but is most commonly found on the tongue, inside the lips, or on the floor of the mouth.
Oral cancer may be diagnosed during an oral exam by a doctor. Consult your doctor if you have any queries about your oral health. Oral cancer screening includes a blood test for signs of cancer and a checkup to see if any changes have occurred in your oral tissues since your last dental visit.
There is not one definitive way to screen for oral cancer. However, some factors that may indicate oral cancer include a new or changed sore in the mouth; persistent pain in the jaw or neck; persistent bleeding from the gums; unusual hoarseness; difficulty swallowing; or a lump or bump on your neck or jaw.
Causes of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is the third most widespread cancer and the second most common reason behind cancer death.
There are many possible causes of oral cancer, including tobacco use, poor oral hygiene habits, and exposure to chemicals or radiation. Some people also develop oral cancer due to a hereditary gene.
Oral cancers can be detected early if you have regular screenings. Oral screening tests look for signs of the disease in your mouth. Depending on your risk factors, you may need to have one or more tests.
Screening for Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is the most common type in the United States, accounting for more than 18,000 deaths yearly. However, oral cancer is treatable if caught early, and many screenings are available to help detect it.
There are three main types of oral cancer: squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), which accounts for 85 percent of all cases; adenocarcinoma, which makes up 15 percent; and melanoma, which accounts for just 1 percent. Each type has its own screening tests and treatment options.
The American Cancer Society recommends that everyone between the ages of 25 and 79 get a thorough oral cancer screening every two years. Screening can include a simple exam by your doctor to look for any changes in your dental health and more specialized tests like a cheek swab or biopsy to see if you have SCC or melanoma.
If you’re at high risk for developing oral cancer due to genetics or other factors, your doctor may also recommend regular screenings starting earlier. And even if you don’t have any signs or symptoms of oral cancer, getting screened is always essential because early detection is critical to successful treatment.
How to Prevent Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is the most familiar type of cancer in the mouth, and it’s estimated that more than 1 million people will develop oral cancer in their lifetime. Oral cancer can be deadly if not diagnosed early.
There are many ways to prevent oral cancer, but the best way to avoid it is to get regular screenings for oral cancer. Oral cancer screening is a simple exam that uses a special camera to look for changes in your mouth that may be signs of the disease.
Here are specific tips on how to get regular oral cancer screenings:
1. Speak to your doctor about whether you should have regular screenings for oral cancer. Your doctor can help you decide which screenings are proper for you based on your health history and risk factors for the disease.
2. Schedule a screening appointment with your dentist or oral surgeon. These appointments are typically free and can help you identify any changes in your mouth as early as possible.
3. Get vaccinated against HPV (human papillomavirus) if you’re at high risk for developing cervical or other cancers caused by HPV. HPV can also cause anal and head/neck cancers. The vaccine is available free of charge through most healthcare providers.
Oral cancer screening is one of the essential preventive measures you can take against this deadly disease. Unfortunately, despite being a preventable death, oral cancer still claims the lives of thousands of people each year. That’s why getting regular screenings and learning as much as possible about oral cancer risk factors is important. In this article, we’ll provide you with everything you need about oral cancer screening and how to participate safely. We hope that by reading this article, you will make informed decisions that could save your life.